ENDORSEMENTS AND COMMENTS ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC PEACE PROCESS PROPOSED BY THE WORLD CITIZEN FOUNDATION (APRIL 2002)

(All comments until stated expressly otherwise are personal and not the official policy of the government or organisation).

Eli Yerushalmi, Minister Councillor for Public Affairs, Israeli Embassy, London, United Kingdom
"If the Palestinians chose this democratic assembly to negotiate peace, 90% of our problems would be gone".

Detlef Boldt, Minister Plenipotentiary, German Mission to the UN
"This proposal transcends the present horrible situation. It is unprecedented and has never been tried but it is the best we have and it ought to be tried".

Gal Luft, Lieutenant Colonel, Israeli Defense Force, author, Paul H. Nitze
School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University
"Given the current impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian relations and the failure of both leaderships to provide creative solutions to the crisis, the idea of a joint Israeli Palestinian peace assembly offered by the World Citizen Foundation is refreshing and intriguing. It opens a possibility for elected representatives from all political streams to actually talk to each other rather than talk at each other and air out their differences in a constructive manner. Further, this path breaking idea is one of the few that promote a genuine democratic process in the Palestinian community laying the foundations for the creation of strong democratic institutions in the future state. This mechanism could be extremely useful for the long process of reconciliation that is likely to take place between the sides even after diplomatic negotiations yield an agreement. The idea certainly deserves to be heard and discussed by the relevant audience, both in the U.S. and in the Middle East."

Tawfiq Al-Ghussein, businessman, Palestinian politician, candidate for the presidency of Palestine (father Jaweed was President of the National Palestine Fund, i.e. the treasurer of the PLO)
"What i like in this proposal is that it recognizes that peace is a process rather than an event. It is real lateral, out-of-the-box, thinking which is what is needed to inject new life into a process which has become stale and stagnant. This process breaks the cycle of repercussions by including everybody in the process, by being an inclusive process that includes people from every segment of the society and community. When you it open it up and make it public, you take away the manipulation. When meetings are made in secret, rumours emerge, accusations and counter-accusations ! if you include every segment of each society, there cannot be accusations, internally or from other parties. This process creates compromise and compromise by its nature deescalates tensions. What is really important is the direct contact between the 2 parties and also between Palestinians of different factions and Israelis of different factions."

Michael Lerner, Rabbi, founder of Tikkun, author of the Politics of Meaning (USA)
" I will send your proposal to [former] President Clinton, and I invite you to write an article in Tikkun [the magazine]")

Gina Ross, Trauma specialist, cross-cultural therapist (Syrian Jew, Lebanon/ USA)
" This proposal is very important and complementary to our work with Jews and Palestinians in Israel"

Stephen Pattison, Director, UN Section, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK, London
" I think it is very innovative"